Saturday, 31 December 2011

Waving goodbye to 2011

And so, as the year 2011 sails off over the horizon and 2012 sets sail, it's time to climb the mast, spruce up the rigging and count the pieces of eight (excuse the nautical references, partly a flashback to the New Brighton Pirate Muster and partly because I was just watching Pirates of the Caribbean). I am reliably informed that on New Year's Eve, staying in is the new going out. Cheers! So what have been my highlights of 2011?

Poetry 24
Thanks to an unexpected invitation from Martin Hodges at Square Sunshine early in 2011, I have been involved in setting up a unique online poetry site which has since published news-related poems from contributors around the world almost daily on an extraordinary range of  subjects. Check out this marvelous snapshot review of the year from one of our regulars.

Library Centenary
OK, it's all in a day's work really, but it's been a roller-coaster ride through the year with more than 60 events for the Centenary of the library where I work. We had author visits, themed days, quizes, music, talks and performances, culminating in a ukulele-rich Centenary Weekend with John Hegley and quite a lot of cake.

Re-visiting Israel
Twenty years after I first went to Israel as  kibbutz volunteer for three months (and stayed the better part of three years) I went back. I do like to stir up the ghosts and managed to surprise two former lovers by turning up unannounced decades later. Closure, at last.

Finished my novel
I finally completed my work in progress which I started three years ago. The (Un)Dead Residents Association - a light-hearted romp through local authority nonsense and the living-challenged - currently seeking representation.

Festival of Firsts
Mixed feelings about this - proud to have been involved in a new local festival and setting up Wirral's first Poet Tree, but it also nearly sent me back to the dark side, I wasted a lot of time unnecessarily on it and I fell out badly with a member of a prominent Sixties band (it's ok - we've made up now, especially as he bought me thunder for Christmas (no - really!)).

Other highlights: I had more quality time with my mum and dad, and my brother didn't die in the Andes (which is always good news). Jet-setting to Cuba, Fuertaventura and Copenhagen. I had a story published in one of Lancaster Litfest's prestigious publications (and was profiled on their website) and 16 other stories or poems published. I met lots of groovy people online - you know who you are - and in real life (local poets mostly, also borrowers... ooh, and poetry hero John Hegley 3 times!). I had larks performing at Studio Liverpool, Vintage Radio, and Wenlock Poetry Festival... and of course I was briefly an internet sensation exactly a year ago... in a sad, nerdy sort of way.

I haven't really thought about 2012 yet... watch this space.

Meanwhile, what were YOUR highlights! Come on, share... and a Happy New Year!! *gets all teary*


  1. As it's a new year I shan't mention that you opened some brackets but didn't close them.

    On balance, while 2011 had some good points (including coming across this blog) they were outweighed by the bad ones. 2012 had better be better, or I shall be cross.

  2. That sounds like a good year! Like Dave, I didn't have a fabulous year, overshadowed as it was by my brother's huge stroke and adjusting to having my father in law living with us. The highlights were a wonderful stolen week in Devon with a blogging and gardening friend looking at other people's gardens and laughing a lot, discovering that we have a really good Indian restaurant in Denbigh which feeds my curry addiction, lots of lovely time with family. 2012 is going to have all those good things and EVEN MORE FUN!

  3. That sounds like an extraordinarily good year. Well done you! Good luck with the novel.

  4. The first part of my comment now seems incorrect, on two grounds:

    a) I did seem to mention it.

    b) I seem to be wrong, unless you've sneaked back and corrected it while I was at church.

    Can we start this year again?

  5. Dave - I couldn't see any bracket errors, but then I'm not the best proof reader... and it would have been rude of me to pick a fight on any of your points! Happy New Year to you - hope it's a better one!

    Elizabeth - I don't think you can go wrong with more fun and more time with the people you care about the most. Wishing you all the best xx

    Little Nell - Thank you kindly. It wasn't a bad one. It may even have been 'significant'... who knows? Hope your next one is all you wish it to be!

  6. Happy new year!

    My 2011 didn't have many highlights, and for a variety of reasons, I'm glad it's over. One of the best bits was a week in the Lakes with eldest son and his two elder boys. Wonderful weather, beautiful walks, picnics every day and lots of time to talk.

  7. Oh Heavens ! Don't get all teary , you'll set us all off ....
    Highlights ? Two .... the birth of second grandson and going to a festival ( well , truthfully , looking out of place at a festival but enjoying it , anyway ).
    We'll see about 2012 . But there should be the odd highlight , surely ?

  8. Frances - In that case, you should get double the highlights this year! Here's hoping...

    S&S - You beat me! I have no grandchildren and have never been to a 'proper' festival. Maybe I should put that on my list? Have a good 2012!

  9. It's been quite a year for me, finding out how different it is teaching in a state school, having moved from the cushy private sector. Hence, lack of blog-reading .. and lack of blog-writing. In fact, lack of any reading and writing apart from some poetry/comedy stuff. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. Have a great year, Clare.

  10. Hey, you had a really great 2011, didn't you. AND in the process finished your novel. Congrats, and may 2012 bring you a publisher!